tv [untitled] February 16, 2011 8:30am-9:00am PST
many times the criticism is, why didn't you wait? the truth of the matter is, wait on what? many times officers realize what should i wait on? maybe a swat team. but that might be an hour. that might be too long of a wait. a c.i.t. officer is going to hear that request and respond. it is going to be a very brief wait. they will pull down because officers are saying, i need your help on this. now the officer is trying to slow things down because he or she knows they have a realistic opportunity. commissioner dejesus: the other thing i wanted to talk to you
about, is that when you talked about your training you have to talk about the community. i think you said in memphis there you have an african-american community and you needed cultural training for there as well. i don't know if you want to elaborate on that. >> one of the things -- one of our cultural adversity experts that works with us when he came to see our training, he said this is the best cultural training because it is embedded throughout the entire system. the officers when they are able to learn communication skills are able to say what goes on in a better way. so it is a critical element, and it is something embedded throughout the entire 48 lours.
commissioner dejesus: you said it is "free." can you explain how it is free? >> we are going to go to the providers that we know we have trust and caring and we're going to say, can you do this as your civic duty? that's the model we've carried throughout the nation. it is again that volunteer effort is what's critical. with the talent pool here you will have people that see it as their civic duty. there will be people that are part of the system that see it as a chance to impact on the officer. i saw it as a chance to impact on people bringing me twice the volume i have now it makes sense for me -- i won't be seeing individuals that may not reach the care.
there information went from two lines to two pages. so i think those things are critical and we see this as part of our duty. that's something i don't think you will have trouble finding. commissioner dejesus: i talked to chief godown, and whoever is in charge of this, embracing this, taking it on as a project and keeping it going, you know, what it takes from the command staff down to make this a successful program. >> it is critical. it quone sides with that newer turring. when i said there are differ levels of nurturing.
from the inside, i told you the chief said, make this happen. i had to understand this from a broader perspective. this helped me bring this into place to let me understand what some of the issues were. it was something i had missed. the people were very skeptical. even though we had people that volunteered, they were saying,
i'm not sure about this. so they were somewhat skept -- skeptical. but they said lieutenant cochran is part of this. he's going to watch out for us. and i made that commitment to them. i was going to other view the issues being presented to them so that the training met their needs as a law enforcement. they were nervous at the -- this was the start of the program. they said, we don't want this to interfere with other issues that have to do with officer safety. i said, we understand. officer safety is very important. i did things to start off. i did a c.i.t. newsletter. this was in 1988. we didn't have computers. a little typist, typing away for
many hours. and i was trying to share stories with what other c.i.t. officers were doing. we also introduced letters of comendations. many times these letters are heroic of sometimes tragic events. i took just the day-to-day interactions with our officers, with consumers in crisis, and the successful stories of de-escalating the crisis from anybody getting hurt. i would write up the things, i would pass it to the chief, and we would compliment that the officers safely created this by using verbal dee de-escalation and the chief would sign bhi way of letter of com endation. -- comendation.
i think this was a cultural change, and i think talking to people, we wanted to emphasize the positive. we wanted to emphasize the nurturing. we wanted to emphasize how special that officer was to do that. that leadership had to go out into the mental health partners to bring the partners into together in a better understanding. we would have mental heelt health professionals ride with law enforcement to make sure they understood our role as law enforcement officers. the person that is a coordinator, he needs to have a voice and resonate into a command staff level in that where it signifies to the supervisors and to the other men
and women of the department that this is a new direction. that person has a big responsibility. he has a responsibility to know that it works. so they have to have a clear understanding of the organization especially within uniform patrol. they have to have the skills used to bring people together and a way of discussing these issues. there are challenging issues. we would interact with the dispatchers. we were fortunate the dispatchers fell under the command of our police chief, our director, which was helpful. many times i was in discussion with the supervisors of the
communication. it was interactions without the department and making sure that the c.i.t. program fit within our organization and we would come together as a law enforcement family to make sure that we were fulfilling the mission of not only our chief, but we were fulfilling the mission of what the mayor and our community said we need today do. >> i hear you saying the change of culture is the change of culture within the department and rewarding people to control the situation when it comes to the mentally ill to having compassion, empathy, and confidence to work toward a resolution. >> and i work hard to link officers with family members. they had a role to play. i work hard to link them with family members and consumers to make sure we have an interaction not just during crisis events but also a relationship of
understanding that we're all part of the community. >> i want to ask, the program that you instituted in memphis, the c.i.t. officers, do they have tasers? >> when we first started, we did. then there were some issues in the very early -- a chemical agent came into the department. that first brand of chemical agent had an alcohol base which was a conflict between tasers which uses electrical component and an alcohol base. so if you are not careful, if you have an individual that may have an application of a chemical spray on their clothing and face you could have a burn effect on that. so you do not need that kind of conflict in law enforcement.
clearly those things had to come about of change. but our department sought other avenues with regard to less lethal equipment. the things i expressed to you has all been changed. the alcohol-based is now been changed. they don't have that on the chemical agents. so the tasers are different from what we had. we were sending them off and we were broke yefpble we had people that were overseeing the tasers. they were unhappy with it. plus, the result of the taser was not what it was reporting to be. again, this was in 1988, and we replaced them with an impact launcher that is often referred
to as an sl-6. that's a decision that needs to be made internally through investigation of each department's choice. the only thing i could comment we debt had a policy and a good policy, good training is the course of directions to follow. oftentimes if people are looking for absolutes, and there is no absolutes in less lethal equipment. >> but right now c.i.t.'s >> in memphis we did not. we did not go back to the tasers. and we're meeting the needs with -- we actually have three loflse of less lethal equipment within the context of the impact weapon. they we have a chemical spray
and we have a chemical foam. the chemical foam is 10% agent. i'm not sure of the percent of the agent we're using in the spray now. commissioner dejesus: i want to thank all of you again. i want to thank the commissioners who were out there. i want to thank you for coming and the community for coming. it was a wonderful presentation. i know it is way past your bedtime, but it was very en lightening. thanks a lot. president mazzucco: commissioner slaughter. slaught slaught thank you. -- commissioner slaughter: thank you. thank you for your comments. thank you to the moms.
i have small achildren. i hear amoms speak, and i -- i hear moms speak and i start to cry. dr. due pobt -- dr. dupont you talked about the way the model has changed. i wonder if you could tell us how flex flexibility is important, if it is, to you in how it is implemented in a particular city, and how the city has to analyze what they do . we >> we do see basics ever what we do need to do there. i think it is a critical element. the specialization of the officer, the ability of the officer to be on the scene to respond is important.
you think you-all have different needs. i would think homeless emphasis would be one you woo want to take a more intense look at and one we are doing ourselves in memphis. it would be critical to constantly change the model. >> seeing how you implemented in memphis and how it has been implemented in other cities around the country, what are two or three things that -- key steps for us if we're going to mention this model and endorse it. not only just today, tomorrow, next week, but next sure to make sure this implementation is a success? >> i think you have set the taupe about community ownership. i think that is a critical
element. what we're finding in communities is that's not just a problem, it is a police problem. it is our problem. it is a community problem. we want to tackle this together. i think that's a critical element. networking is important to people. they talk about that. if there is not that ability to trans transcend and be able to deal with different agencies, that won't lep with either. the other thing i heard is that officers get discouraged. i think that's true. if you look at the data, it is important that people have hope. >> i think that last point that you made, dr. dupont is critical . the point you made about networking, is you had an
opportunity to speak. how important is more than just training? we have had nearly a thousand officers who have gone through levels of mental health training. i would imagine we will have to determine how much we can rely on the training that's already happened versus what we have to do that is important. if you come out of a 40-hour class you talk about not just finishing, but going to something. >> if the officers don't identify they are part of a bigger team, i don't think they will have the same application. if you not changing behavior, you haven't done a blot with the training. the question is, can you, reinforce that the officers feel they have an important role in this. i have seen that, to give them a chance to be recognized as leaders.
commirgs slaughter: and -- commissioner slaughter: you have had a very busy two days here. you have had a chance to walk the city a bit, and i wonder if you could see -- share your opinions. >> the homeless population that i saw here was i -- a much younger homeless population than i've seen in other cities. i think that's different. i think that requires a special and unique response. i think you-all are facing unique challenges that would be important to see how we can adapt those systems. i think that would be one of the things i would respond to. i was impressed with the officers i spoke w i think those
officers are really to be depend commended. commissioner slaughter: in your view, again, seeing how this has been implemented, models implemented across the country in different departments, different sizes, different issues. what is a reasonable time we as a commission should swect this working group should -- can expect it to be reasonably imfleemented in our city? -- implemented in our city? hugh do we measure success? how do we judge results? what's a reasonable time and how do we make sure we are, as a body, making sure we are monitoring and doing the best we can. >> every community is a little different, and some communities have really a little
bit different. some communities have will be an expeditious for six months. that is probably the exception to the world. nine months to a year. in some communities, it is even longer than a year. one of the things that we have been praising so much is that you really do have a foundation that is your, and many times, we go into a community, and we are talking above -- about forming a task force. those things are already here in some way or another. it is maybe a way of organizing it more clear. maybe there is a determination to restructure -- to real structure going to the next level, may be interviewing some officers, and many times, you
can say, "we already know what they will say." but it is important that the officer is heard. you asked eight -- you ask the police of a serve that works at 10:00 tonight, "what do you do?" and as you get those honest answers, it helps to bring clarity of knowledge and strengths and also areas where there can be improvements, so as to continue to move forward, you start to program this effort as a community approach to where it becomes a solution to where the law enforcement will say, "we
have been working on this, and when it is complete, it will be our program. when it is completed, we have been working on this." we have been part of the training. this is our program. we have been working on this. we have been meeting, and we have been interjecting ideas and interjecting some suggestions that may have some short-term suggestions and maybe some long term, but we are in there, too, and this is our program, and the truth of the matter is, it is a community effort, so that is it. >> i think that you will find in most major cities that a partner with the universities, and they develop out, plants, and it would really be very positive for you all to do, as well, and each one focuses on a part of training, and there is a lot to focus on.
it does matter, and it does really help out. that is a very basic testimony. this other data that you can track, we can track officer injury to see if there is better outcome for us, as well, and i think that is an important thing. cough -- there is a whole range of outcomes that have to do with the improvement in the attitude towards training, their skills, that you can look at, and there is some pretty good literature. i would say we have some of the bus literature at any time. president mazzucco: commissioner hammer? commissioner hammer: i have been listening what you have been
saying, and one of the things that really knocked me over is that this is sort of where korea iraq, two or three as opposed to 20 years, it just blew me away, and dr. marshall is right, what brings us here is that it is happening a lot right now, and that is because either our training is wrong or perhaps we have had a rash of extraordinary incidents, and so, when i see those kinds of statistics after the research you have done, both in officers being injured, which means a lot to us, and it ought to be a lot to everybody, and that people are being hurt less and shot less, that is a winner, so it is powerful, extraordinary, and that is what made me invest myself even more in this process. i have a couple of questions and
then some comments. have the response times been negatively impacted? >> it is interesting, mr. supervisor. we have not found matt as a complaint. if they need additional time, they can take it, but we have not seen an additional impact with capacity, so i will be honest. we will look at supervisor responses. >> i just want to say he is correct on that. the level of performance we would give up would be very marginal, as of his or her particular area over to another area. that marginal delay of the officer in linking up with the other officers to respond to that is incidental to the total of, of success of basic
conclusion for everybody, and that is something in our department and other departments have looked into, because that is a safety issue. this is the number-one factor of the results to have a successful model. commissioner hammer: we have over 900 officers you have received over 40 hours of training, which is a great feat. there is a key portion. one of the things we talked about is, is it possible to build on that? a refresher course, focusing on this, so we can more quickly ramp up and get a cit in place?
>> absolutely. type in that would be an easy thing to do, but do not lose sight about the community partnership. yes, the training is very, very doable. i have said many times, cit is more than training, so, yes, you can look at your existing training program, and these need to be addressed in order to fulfill some of the gaps that may or may not be present, but this needs to be a part of that process. commissioner hammer: the idea that it comes out of training, and the articles that you read, it is not just about training. it is also about developing specialists. they do not encounter those incidents enough to become specialists, but some of them
do. i know something about it. chief, i want to commend you. you have shown an extraordinary openness in listening to new ideas. with folks in the community, you have wanted to your input, and i want to acknowledge that. it could have been a very different approach. having heard all of that over the last couple of weeks, what do you think? >> i have sat and listened to this. there is a component of this that is missing. a light bulb came on a few minutes ago. i understand the partnership with the community. i understand the cit program, fatalities, and this is really going to be a bombshell, but
would not be perfect if everyone was trades like this? where there is somebody upset, and they can slow down and talk them down? when you have somebody in the street that is angry, you can do that? to standardize trading for an officer that has any contact with anybody in the field at any given time, so we really need to talk about, and we need to back this up and mandate this 40-hour training for anybody. yes, the cit program. yes, the mental-health program, but the reality is, when you have somebody involved in a family dispute, where we have had some tactical situations where we really needed to slow down, and the cit process would have been applicable to everyone, has that ever come up? >> some have experimented.